Why Do Minority Men Earn Less? A Study of Wage Differentials among the Highly Educated

Dan Black, Syracuse University
Amelia Haviland, Carnegie Mellon University
Seth G. Sanders, University of Maryland
Lowell Taylor, Carnegie Mellon University

This paper contributes to the literature on minority wage gaps by using data with more detail on education than has been previously used and by using nonparametric matching methods. Our data, the National Survey of College Graduates, provide detailed information on degrees received as well as information on wages. Among the well educated we find substantial unadjusted wage gaps: approximately 19 percent for both blacks and Hispanics, and 10 percent for Asians. Modest portions of the gaps are due to measurement error in the recording of education in the Census. For Hispanic and Asian men, the entire remaining gap is attributable to pre-market factors. For black men, only about one-quarter of the wage gap is attributable to these same factors. However, pre-market factors do account for the black-white wage gap if we restrict attention to a sub-sample: men born outside the South to parents with some college education.

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Presented in Session 142: Educational Attainment: Social and Economic Issues